A Town Called Mercy writer, Toby Whithouse has praised guest-star Ben Browder (Farscape; Stargate: SG1), who plays Isaac in the third episode of the new series.
Whithouse, who’s previously written School Reunion, Vampires of Venice and The God Complex, told SFX:
It’s amazing that Doctor Who can attract these international stars. He was fantastic. I was really, really pleased that we got him because it’s an odd part, that character Isaac… Ben has this rather beautiful innate nobility that he manages to just convey, very simply and very economically. It was absolutely how I saw the character, so I was really thrilled with him, and delighted with his performance.
And according to his interview with the sci-fi mag, Browder’s a bit of a Who fan too:
I’d seen most of it. The new show, I mean. My kids have seen all of the new series since Russell T Davies started writing it, back with Chris in the lead, so, yeah. We have probably half the DVDs in the house and yeah, I knew exactly what it was… do a brilliant job with the show so, you know, it was kind of a no-brainer when I got the offer. It was in the middle of pilot season here, which is a busy time. I was like, ‘I really should be in town to look for a series of my own, but no, I’ve got an offer to do Doctor Who, I’ve gotta do that.’
Whithouse promises a full-blooded Western on Saturday evening:
Without a doubt, there are certain tropes and traditions that I think the audience would feel very cheated by if you didn’t include those. You know, you need the scene of the Doctor riding a horse across the dusty landscape, you need the Doctor wearing a hat, you need the showdown, you need the face-off between the hero and the villain… You need all of those things.
As a fan of films like A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and A Few Dollars More, Whithouse has surely taken inspiration from the last time the Doctor touched down in the Wild West (in 1966’s The Gunfighters). Right? Right…?!
I thought about it, and I think either Steven [Moffat, showrunner] or Mark Gatiss forewarned me and said not to bother. They said it’s not exactly the jewel in the crown, so probably best to steer clear!
Oh. Well, I guess we won’t have any dodgy singing then. Such a shame.
A Town Called Mercy airs Saturday 15th September on BBC One & BBC HD at 7.35 pm, and BBC America at 9/8c.
But you knew that already.